Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals

place holder

  Rodentia · Sciuridae · Callospermophilus lateralis (Spermophilus lateralis)

place holder
Search the Archive
 • Species Name
 • Family Tree
 • Conservaton Status
 • Skulls
 • Bones and Teeth
Field Guide
 • Map Search
   Including search by
     • Location
     • Ecoregion
     • Species
     • National Park
 • About Maps
dotted line
   Teacher Resources
   About the Site
dotted line
Smithsonian Institution
Copyright Notice
Privacy Notice

Callospermophilus lateralis (Spermophilus lateralis)

Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel

Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae

Image of Callospermophilus lateralis (Spermophilus lateralis)
Click to enlarge. (74 kb)

Conservation Status: Least Concern.

Golden-mantled Ground Squirrels are familiar residents of open woodlands, brushy forest-edge habitats, dry margins of mountain meadows, and rocky slopes. They are quick to invade sunny, disturbed areas where pioneer plants provide good food resources. Because they have a stripe on the flank, they are sometimes mistaken for chipmunks, but the stripe does not continue onto the cheek as it does in Tamias species. Golden-mantled Ground Squirrels are solitary burrow-dwellers. They eat almost anything, including fungi, a variety of plants, fruits, and seeds, insects in all life-cycle stages, nestling birds and eggs, small mammals, and carrion. They hibernate from late summer through early spring, and like other hibernating mammals, put on fat reserves beforehand.

Average: 275 mm
Range: 245-295 mm

Range: 175-350 g


Say, T., 1823.  in Thwaites, R.G., (ed.) Early Western Travels, 1748-1846 : A Series of Annotated Reprints of some of the best and rarest contemporary volumes of travel : descriptive of the Aborigines and Social and Economic Conditions in the Middle and Far West, during the Period of Early American Settlement, Cleveland, Ohio : A.H. Clark Co., Cleveland, Ohio, 1904-1907. Volume 16 (“Part III of James's Account of S. H. Long's Expedition, 1819-1820”), pg 38.

(Accessible on-line at the Library of Congress - enter page 38)


Mammal Species of the World (opens in a new window).

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account *
* PDF reader available here (opens in a new window).

Distribution of Callospermophilus lateralis (Spermophilus lateralis)

Image of Callospermophilus lateralis (Spermophilus lateralis)
Click to enlarge. (62kb)